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Man’s shooting death marks anniversary of 11-vehicle melee

One day short of the 12th anniversary of an infamous stolen-vehicle rampage he orchestrated — complete with claims of talking directly to Jesus — Carlos Bugarin was found shot dead at his Las Vegas apartment complex.

Just before 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, callers told Las Vegas police they heard several gunshots and saw a man lying on the ground at the complex on Rainbow Boulevard, just west of U.S. Highway 95 between Cheyenne Avenue and Lake Mead Boulevard.

When officers got to Entrata Di Paradiso Apartments, 2701. N. Rainbow Blvd., they found 31-year-old Bugarin dead on a sidewalk. He was walking home when he was shot, police said.

A motive for Bugarin’s killing remains unclear. Police said Thursday they have no suspects.

Attempts to speak with Bugarin’s friends and family were unsuccessful.

Some may remember the wild ride Bugarin took through Las Vegas on April 29, 2003. In the end, 11 vehicles were wrecked, and he shut down one of the valley’s busiest intersections.

Then-19-year-old Bugarin told police he was high on PCP and talking to Jesus Christ when he stole a rented moving-truck and plowed his way south on Rainbow. He picked up the truck near Rainbow at Washington Avenue about 10:15 a.m. He crashed into six vehicles by the time he reached Sahara Avenue, then slammed the truck into a utility box and leveled a palm tree.

With the truck immobilized, Bugarin needed another ride. So he stole a Ford Crown-Victoria that belonged to a man who had stopped to help people who got hurt in the crash at Sahara.

Another half-mile south, Bugarin hit another car. The impact spun the Crown Victoria, and it went north and hit two more vehicles. Police arrested Bugarin as he tried to climb out of the car.

Bugarin told police he was bound for Zion National Park during the melee. Drug tests for the hallucinogen PCP came back negative, police said at the time.

Anyone with any information about this incident is urged to contact the LVMPD Homicide Section by phone at 702-828-3521, or by email at homicide@lvmpd.com.

To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 702-385-5555, or on the internet at www.crimestoppersofnv.com. Tips leading directly to an arrest or indictment processed through Crime Stoppers may be eligible for a cash reward.

Contact Wesley Juhl at wjuhl@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Find him on Twitter: @WesJuhl

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